A precision subcontract specialist has invested in a new DN Solutions’ DNM 4500 to increase its machining capacity and capabilities, strengthen its position within its customer supply chains and further improve the productivity, process efficiency and performance of its machine shop.
Mills CNC, the exclusive distributor of DN Solutions (formerly Doosan) and Zayer machine tools in the UK and Ireland, has supplied Ad Hoc Engineering, an engineering design and precision subcontract specialist based in Warwickshire, with a new, best-selling DN Solutions DNM 4500 vertical machining centre.
Installed at the company’s 1700 sq ft facility in spring 2023, the machine sits in close proximity to three other Doosan machines acquired by the company over the past nine years.These machines comprise an 8” chuck Lynx 220 lathe (installed in 2014), a DNM 500 II vertical machining centre (installed in 2015) and a 6” chuck Lynx 2100 lathe (installed in 2019).Collectively, these machines, boosted by the recent addition of the DNM 4500, provide the company with an impressive and flexible in-house machining resource.
The new DNM 4500, like the other machine tools the company has at its disposal, machines a range of high-precision components and families of parts that include housings, enclosures, flanges, valves and actuators. The parts find use within the company’s proprietary flow meter and scientific instrumentation products.
Once machining and inspection are complete, parts are sent out for different surface treatment operations, such as plating or powder coating, before coming back to the company for final assembly, testing and delivery to a range of customers operating in the electronics, and process control/measurement sectors.
Parts machined on the new DNM 4500 are typically made from solid aluminium, mild steel and stainless steel bar and billets, and are machined in a range of batch sizes(prototypes and one-offs through to thousands-off) using work-holding and fixtures that include pallets and tombstones.Part tolerances are tight but not excessively so, with the main machining requirements being consistency, repeatability and fast processing speeds.
With demand growing for its design, machining and assembly services, the company made the decision, back in 2022, to improve its milling capacity and capabilities.Two, older machines Ad Hoc had at its disposal were creating production pinch points that were affecting throughput and output.After careful consideration the company took the decision to replace both with a new, higher specification machining centre.
Explains John Watts, owner and director:“We provide comprehensive, high-quality machining services to customers and are a vital cog in their process chains. As such, we need to anticipate and respond quickly to their changing production requirements.”
He continues: “In order to maintain these supply chain relationships, we needed to strengthen our in-house milling capabilities by investing in a reliable, high-performance production-oriented machine that would meet ourimmediate and future requirements, and that of our customers.”
As a consequence, the company drew up a detailed specification checklist for its new machine tool investment with a number of ‘must haves’ which included. These ‘essentials’ included a FANUC control to ensure the quick and easy transfer of parts and programs between the new machine and its previously acquired DNM 500 II machining centre. In addition, the company required a large machining envelope to enable the machining of sizable and/or smaller, multiple parts in a single set-up
Further demands set out by Ad Hoc included: a powerful spindle capable of machining a range of different materials, and delivering fast part processing speeds; a reliable, versatile and proven machine with an established track record; quick availability and a competitive price; and proactive aftersales services provided by the machine tool supplier.
Says Watts:“As an existing Doosan user, we have good relationships with Mills CNC. We like their business approach and the three Doosan machines we had from them in the past have all performed well without missing a beat.It therefore made sense to contact Mills and, having discussed our needs and requirements with them and seen a DNM 4500 in action at their showroom facility in Leamington, it was a ‘cut and dried’ decision.
Mills CNC says that the DNM 4500 is a powerful, precise, flexible and reliable three-axis machining centre. The machine supplied to Ad Hoc Engineering features an 18.5kW/ 12,000rpm (BT 40) direct-drive spindle, a 30-tool position ATC, a large worktable (1000x 450mm) with a 600kg maximum load, and features the aFANUC 0iMP control with 15” touchscreen iHMI.
Notably, the DNM 4500 has a rigid-design and build, as well as roller-type LM guideways which, along with its integrated thermal compensation systems, ensure high precision and repeatability, even during long periods of operation.Fast rapid travel rates (36m/min) and quick tool change times (1.2 seconds tool-to-tool) guarantee quick part processing and, as a result, higher productivity, improved efficiencies and reduced lead times.
To help realise the machine’s productivity potential and optimise performance, the machine was supplied, as part of the investment package, with though-spindle coolant capability (20 bar) and a Nikken CNC 202 (4thaxis) rotary table for fast and accurate component indexing. Ad Hoc Engineering further augmented its machine tool purchase by investing in a precise, flexible and expandable work-holding system (comprising plates, vices, clamps) from Micro-Loc that enables quick job set-ups and changeovers, as well as the machining of large and/or multiple smaller parts.
Ultimately, the DNM 4500 has, as was intended, significantly increased the company’s machining capacity and capabilities.
Concludes Watts:“We needed a fast, accurate and competitively-priced machining centre, and with the DNM 4500, that’s exactly what we got.”
For further information www.millscnc.co.uk